Your Essential Guide to Finding the Best Swaddling Blanket for Your Baby
We’re a little obsessed with swaddling.
The effect that swaddling has on a baby is almost magical. It helps sooth your baby and can, in certain situations, means the difference between sleeping and staying up, for both baby and mom.
We get that finding the best swaddle blankets and mastering the art of swaddling might seem like mission impossible, but we’ve got you covered with this, and we promise that you’ll be amazed at the results after you’ve aced it the first time.
The one secret to keep in mind when it comes to successful swaddling is this: NOT ALL SWADDLE BLANKETS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Some just rock while others…well don’t. Let’s guide you through this maze, shall we?
HALO Sleep Sack
Aden + Anais Classic Muslin
Understanding a Swaddle Blanket
Swaddle blankets were designed to help recreate the effect and essentially the environment your baby grew accustomed to while he was still living in the womb. They provide just the right amount of warmth and comfort your baby needs for the best sleep of his (and your) life.
Why You Need to Swaddle Your Baby
Aside from the comfort and warmth, a swaddle blanket provides your baby with, it also offers quite a few other benefits. These include:
- It keeps your baby calm and comfy by mimicking the environment inside of the womb.
- It prevents a startling reflex by placing the arms tightly against his body. This will help prevent your baby waking up (and even having his heart rate increased) due to startling reflexes
- It helps maintain the ideal temperature and air circulation.
- It helps prevent suffocation which is a major cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- If your baby already has hip dysplasia or abnormalities with the formation of their hips.
- Babies that are trying to play or move around should not be swaddled when they are not ready for sleepy time.
- Provides a snug and comfy swaddle
- Applies slight abdominal pressure which soothes baby
- Doesn’t have to be folded in a specific way to ensure the perfect swaddle
- Doesn’t double up as a blanket
- Only comes available in one size
- Comes available in 2 different sizes
- Provides safe and secure swaddle for baby
- Features a zip-up design which makes it user friendly
- Secures using Velcro straps, which some babies might be able to loosen
- The cotton version of the Sleep Sack might be too hot to use in the summer months
- Easy to use
- Provides a snug and secure swaddle for baby
- Comes available in 4 different sizes
- Not as versatile as products such as the Miracle Blanket
- Not as durable as other top swaddling products
- Very big
- Very soft and comfy, made with 100% cotton
- Very durable
- The Classic Muslin has to be folded correctly in order to secure a perfect swaddle
How to Properly Swaddle Your Baby
Perfecting the art of swaddling your baby will probably take a few attempts (two or three times), but here are the basic steps of swaddling for success:
Step 1 - Pick the Perfect Swaddle Blanket
Go for a square blanket, preferably measuring in at 40 x 40 inches, made of slightly stretchable materials to help you get the right wrap. We’ll show you the best options in a short while…
Step 2 - Fold the Blanket
The swaddle blanket needs to be folded into a diamond shape from the blanket’s top corner, ensuring that the fold stretches as long as your baby.
Step 3 - Position Your Baby
Once you’ve folded the blanket, place your baby in the center, ensuring that your baby’s face and neck are above the fold, supporting the neck while swaddling your baby.
Step 4 - Fold in Your Baby’s Arms
Ensure that your baby’s arms outline his sides.
Step 5 - Wrap One Side Over
Holding your swaddle blanket on one side of your baby’s arm, tuck it down towards the fist of your baby’s other arm, folding the blanket in a way that keeps his arm in place.
Step 6 - Wrap the Bottom
The bottom of the swaddle blanket should be closed once the one arm is adjusted and swaddled. Next, fold the bottom section of the blanket upwards towards the baby’s neck.
Step 7 - Wrap the Other Arm
Just like you did with the first arm, adjust your baby’s exposed arm and wrap the blanket around. This wrap goes over the fold which was done from the bottom of the blanket, but it should be crossed downward to the opposite side.
Step 8 - Tuck the Other Side Over
When you’re done wrapping the other arm, the piece of blanket left should be folded over from the baby’s legs, forming a V-neck. Now, tuck the blanket under the shoulder of the first arm.
Essentials to Keep in Mind for Swaddling Success
1. Ensure that your baby has enough leg room so that he can move his legs around inside the swaddle. Too little leg space inside the swaddle can lead to hip dysplasia, so ensure that this is done correctly.
2. Don’t swaddle your baby too tightly and ensure that you’re regularly checking for air circulation and signs of overheating.
Should Some Parents Avoid Swaddling Their Babies?
Although it would seem ideal, swaddling might not be possible for all babies. Here’s when to avoid swaddling:
Are There Any Risks to Swaddling?
Everything concerning a baby’s care will have an amount of risk to it. Swaddling has two major risks of which you should be aware of:
1. SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome might well be prevented by swaddling, but when it’s not done correctly, it may actually promote it. Folds shouldn’t be placed too close to the baby’s neck as this could construct breathing.
2. Inability to Wake - Babies that are swaddled for too long might lose their ability to wake up; they don’t know when it’s time to wake up. This means that babies should only be swaddled for limited periods of time.
What Are The Best Swaddling Blankets?
While there are heaps and bounds of different swaddle blankets out there, there are simply a few of them which are way better than others. Here are our favorite picks…
The Miracle Blanket strangely resembles a straightjacket, which might be ideal for babies, since they all go a little crazy at times, right? With a foot pouch which is almost impossible to kick off and arm flaps for securing your baby, this swaddle blanket has just enough room inside, making it perfect in almost every way.
The Miracle Blanket provides your baby with a snug swaddle and slight abdominal pressure, which helps comfort and soothe babies beyond belief. This swaddle blanket is super easy to use and will ensure that sleep soon becomes a top priority in your home!
HALO Sleep Sack
Available in both 100% cotton and a fleece option, the HALO Sleep Sack is our second favorite pick for swaddling blankets. Very similar to the Miracle Blanket, the HALO Sleep Sack doesn’t have to be folded for the perfect swaddle, yet it still provides baby with all the familiar comforts of the womb environment.
The Sleep Sack can be purchased in either new born or older baby sizes, which gives you bigger time span of bliss, compared to the Miracle Blanket. This sack is secured using Velcro straps, so heads up if you have a little Houdini at home.
We like the fact that this sack also uses a zip-up design, which makes it quick and easy to use
The Woombie is yet another brilliant swaddling product designed to mimic the feeling inside of the womb. This product can either be used as a sleep sack or as a full-on swaddle pod. With its 2-way zipper, the Woombie is quick and easy to use.
We like the fact that the Woombie provides a snug and secure swaddle, but not too tight. It also doesn’t have extra materials inside, so there’s no need to worry about bunching up and the sack becoming unsafe for the baby.
Available in 4 different sizes, the Woombie caters for babies from the newborn days all the way up to 25 pounds, ensuring that moms can get the exact size they need for baby.
Aden + Anais Classic Muslin
This is arguably the biggest and comfiest swaddling blanket (read, not sleep sack). We love Aden + Anais products, and their Classic Muslin is no exception to the rule.
The light style of this swaddling blanket is perfect for most babies, but it also comes available in a heavier style, which is perfect for you and your baby if you live in a colder climate. Measuring in at almost 4 feet wide and square, the Classic Muslin isn’t only soft and comfy, but they’re ideal for older babies as well.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, there are a lot of fine details you need to focus on in order to secure the perfect swaddle. Your first priority should be to invest in just the right swaddle blanket, and if the choice were up to us, we’d definitely go with the Miracle Blanket. For babies, this might be the one and only swaddle you’ll ever need since it will cater for babies up to 4 months.
We hope that this post has armed you with all the information you’ll need to invest in the best swaddling blanket and that you’re now ready to go out, purchase a great swaddling blanket, and steer your baby towards the best sleep of his or her life!